Draping and Patternmaking
Patternmaking is my favorite phase of development. It is when I negotiate between the 3-dimensional form of the body and the 2-dimentional reality of fabric. Seeing the shapes in 2-D on paper reveals the mysteries of geometry which the fabric is experiencing and allows me to intervene with careful decisions. How deep should this pleat be? How wide should this pocket be? Should this fabric really be cut at such a sharp angle?
Then, when I have made adjustments to the 2-dimensional pattern, I recut and resew a sample, to see what garment this pattern will produce, and how it will look on a person.
Draping the front of the "Super Sleeveless Blouse"
I usually begin the patternmaking process by draping a piece of fabric on a dressform in the way I want it to hang, then pinning it, and then marking the shape of the piece. In these pictures you will see several markings. First, when the fabric is flat on the table I mark a vertical line to show the direction of the fabric grain. It is important to pay attention to the direction of the yarns in the fabric, because it determines how the fabric hangs. Sometimes I also mark the perpendicular line also. Then, after I have pinned the piece of fabric to the dressform in the way I want it, I mark where I want the seams to be. I also mark little hatches on those seam lines to show where they will meet the other pieces. After I have draped all the pieces, I remove them from the form and put them on a table to transfer the shapes to paper.
Transferring a draped skirt yoke to paper, using my lightbox-drafting table.